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May 11, 2020

More needs to be done – Propertymark tells Committee Inquiry

ARLA Propertymark has responded to the UK Parliament’s Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s (HCLG) Inquiry into the impact of Coronavirus on homelessness and the private rented sector. The aim of the Committee’s Inquiry, which closed its deadline for written submissions on Tuesday 5 May, is to examine how effective

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The Money You Never Even Knew You Had

With the COVID-19 crisis changing life for everyone in the UK in one way or another, we’re all putting off our spending and booting our plans a little further down the road for now. When we talk to our customers at RIFT, we love to hear what they’ll be putting

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

May 11, 2020

Massive Warehouse Development is Set To Create Over 2,250 Jobs In Derbyshire

A massive new development, to be called Horizon29, will create more than 2,250 warehouse jobs in Derbyshire, according to developers and investors. To consist of five warehouses covering a total space of over 800,000 square feet, the project in Derbyshire’s Chesterfield has now received planning permission and is all set to go ahead. The warehousing development is to be built near the M1’s Junction 29A in the Markham Vale area of Chesterfield and will create thousands of jobs for the region. Developers iSec and the St. Francis Group say they are hoping to fill the site with businesses from the manufacturing, logistics and industrial sectors and will have some plots ready for operation as early as next year. Once the two phases of the Horizon29 development are complete, the developers estimate that 2,253 full or part time jobs in Derbyshire will be created. The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership is a major investor in the Derbyshire project. Giving an update on the development, the LEP’s Chief Executive, Sajeeda Rose, said: “I’m pleased to see the first phase of the Horizon29 development progressing well. As thoughts turn to how our region recovers from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, projects like Horizon29 will be key in supporting our regional economy recovering and creating jobs for our people and communities.” Development Director for iSec, Nigel Lax, also commented, saying: “As well as stimulating significant local job opportunities, we also expect the scheme to stimulate fresh inward investment in the area, giving a significant boost to the local economy. At 1.4 million sq ft in total, the scheme will play a national role in the ever-expanding logistics market, based on rapidly increasing demand from e-commerce.” “Horizon29 will be opening for business and available to logistics and manufacturing companies looking to return to some degree of normality in the not too distant future and capitalises on an outstanding location close to Sheffield, Chesterfield, Nottingham and Derby,” added Mr Lax.

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More needs to be done – Propertymark tells Committee Inquiry

ARLA Propertymark has responded to the UK Parliament’s Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s (HCLG) Inquiry into the impact of Coronavirus on homelessness and the private rented sector. The aim of the Committee’s Inquiry, which closed its deadline for written submissions on Tuesday 5 May, is to examine how effective the UK Government has been in supporting individuals in the private rented sector. It is also examining what long term strategies would need to be put in place to support both groups, once current measures expire. Propertymark highlighted the positive steps the Government has taken to support the private rented sector during the pandemic such as extending business rates relief and including commission in furloughed pay. However, concerns remain about access to support for agents who are self-employed and the disparity in how the Small Business Support Grants are being administered by different local authorities across the country. Furthermore, for renters, Propertymark remains concerned that while general awareness of the Government’s policies aimed at helping renters is modest, actual knowledge of the policies among renters is low. Action is needed Support for self-employed agents – Some Limited company directors and small businesses have fallen between the Government’s economic support packages. To support this segment of the employment market the Government could ask company directors to self-report their average dividend income in order to obtain a similar measure of support to the 80 per cent of income that self-employed and PAYE workers can access. Furthermore, agents who are self-employed had to have filed their 2018-19 tax return by 23 April 2020 to receive support under the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. However, if they had more recently become self-employed, such as from April 2019 it is not clear what support is available. In addition, payments will not be made until June 2020 which means three months of no income when many agents continue to have bills and overheads to pay. Improve renters’ knowledge of support – There is lots of Government support available that should allow tenants to continue to pay their rent and landlords to have an income if rent payments do stop. However, not enough is being done to explain and highlight these policies. In order that rent payments continue to be paid and the Government keep the rent flowing, renters and their landlords need to take full advantage of the Government schemes available during this difficult period. Current issues Suspend the introduction of mandatory electrical checks – With the added complications of Coronavirus, the supply chain capacity issues have got significantly worse, and therefore, the Government should suspend the introduction until such time as it is possible for the industry to practically implement the legislation. Review and update guidance on maintenance and safety checks – 70 per cent of agents who Propertymark surveyed said that the Government’s guidance on what to do for compliance checks during the outbreak is clear and helpful. However, agents are facing problems getting routine maintenance and safety checks at the properties they manage completed. Agents and landlords want to do the best by their tenants and are understandably nervous about falling foul of regulations and therefore, we ask the Government to review and update the guidance already issued. Post lockdown Provide more support on rent payments – Survey results from Propertymark members show that nearly all have said that up to a quarter of their tenants have missed a rental payment since the Coronavirus outbreak. Consequently, three things need to happen to further assist renters. Firstly, more needs to be done to explain the support available from the Government. Secondly, the Government must suspend the five weeks Universal Credit payment period with all payments made in full and paid directly to the letting agent or landlord. Thirdly, for those tenants who fall through the gaps in the Government’s current provisions should be able to apply for their rent to be paid via Universal Credit. Postpone the introduction of all licensing schemes – Members are alarmed that a number of Councils are ignoring guidance issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which says that where local authorities are in the process of introducing non-mandatory licensing schemes, but these are not yet in force, they should consider pausing these at an appropriate point, in line with the advice on proactive and reactive work. The Government must ensure local authorities postpone the introduction of all licensing schemes until the market can recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Separate rent arrears before and during the pandemic – Propertymark’s survey figures from members show that for the majority (78 per cent) the passing of legislation to delay eviction proceedings has impacted on up to ten tenancies they manage and between ten and 20 tenancies for 13 per cent of agents. Members are concerned about the speed in which cases will be able to be heard in the courts and the backlog of cases from before the Coronavirus Act was passed and those cases lodged during the outbreak and after the restrictions are lifted.  click here for The full response The Committee will take oral evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on homelessness and the private rented sector on 11 May 2020. Propertymark will keep the sector updated on any further progress. WHAT PROPERTYMARK IS DOING Propertymark has been in constant dialogue with Governments across the UK and will continue to push concerns and get the answers the sector needs. Keep updated with the latest information and guidance by following and liking the ARLA Propertymark Facebook and Twitter pages and visiting our website for frequently updated news articles. If you’re a member, ensure you’re reading Propertymark’s communications as we’re working hard to ensure you are at the forefront of change in the sector. You can also login to the members’ area of the ARLA Propertymark website below to access dozens of resources that have been created to help you strive during this difficult time.

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The Money You Never Even Knew You Had

With the COVID-19 crisis changing life for everyone in the UK in one way or another, we’re all putting off our spending and booting our plans a little further down the road for now. When we talk to our customers at RIFT, we love to hear what they’ll be putting their tax refunds toward. Holidays, smartphones, big-screen TVs and high-tech gadgets are always high up on the lists – but right now, those plans are all hitting the back burners while we wait for the danger to pass. The government, businesses and banks have all been doing quite a lot to help families through the lockdown, and are even doing a pretty good job of telling them about it. Depending on your situation, you might already be looking at anything from loan and mortgage payment holidays to getting 80% of your wages covered while you’re on furlough. Companies are offering refunds on train tickets and cancelled events, while overdraft freezes are easing the financial pressure for many without damaging their credit ratings. The thing is, while the whole country’s holding fire on those major purchases, there are still far too many of us shooting ourselves in the foot by letting the taxman hold onto money that should be back in our own pockets. Every year, PAYE construction workers are leaving as much as £300 million in unclaimed tax refunds in HMRC’s hands. Given the 4-year time limit allowed for refund claims, that’s £1.2 billion of UK construction workers’ cash left owing at any time. Claiming your yearly tax refund is one of the biggest boosts you can give to your finances, but so many people either think it’s too difficult or never even realise they qualify. When you work in construction, you tend to spend a lot of time trekking to and from temporary workplaces (generally, somewhere you work for under 24 months on the trot). Maybe you use public transport; maybe you drive your own car or van. Either way, you’ve putting miles under your wheels as a necessary part of doing your job. If you’re spending your own cash to do it, you can claim a tax refund based on your costs each year. In practice, that means: 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles by car or van, then 25p per mile after that. 24p per mile travelled on a motorcycle. 20p per mile for travel by bicycle. It might not look like much on paper, but it mounts up fast. For example, travelling 15,000 miles for work by car in a single tax year would net you a tax-free payment of up to £5,750. If you’re using public transport, your refund will be based on your ticket costs, so hang onto those receipts. There are lots of other essential costs that can add toward your refund claim, and it’s easy to check what you’re owed using free online tools from experts like RIFT, such as this online tax rebate calculator. 76% of us are delaying splashing out on something big because of COVID-19. Just think what you could do with a refund in your pocket today.

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